I have to start this piece off with a confession – I really never got the whole influencer thing.
I know, I know.
Here I have a men’s blog and skincare brand, which is 100% conducive to influencers.
Yet, I generally find them bizarre, vacuous and shamelessly narcissistic..
So now, let me follow my confession up with a question:
Have you ever launched a branded product?
If the answer is ‘no’, I’ll tell you now – it’s tough and we’re talking pushing-a-boulder-up-a-hill tough.
What this means is, you need every advantage you can get.
Enter the influencer:
Despite my reservations, I felt like I had to play ball and do what I could with it.
This Christmas season, I wanted to get traction for two new products in my line.
So I kept my eyes open and checked every email I got from HARO (Help a Reporter Out).
This is a platform that connects members of the media with experts, businesses and anyone who can help them generate content.
In mid-October, I spotted the query I was hoping for.
It was a women’s blog called Schimiggy, and its publisher was looking for gifts-for-men ideas for a holiday gift guide.
Perfect – women are the biggest buyers of my products, so this was the fit I was looking for.
I checked the site’s stats out and it was a winner.
Here’s my initial email outreach to Schimiggy:
Here was her response:
Cool – we were all set!
And Then Came The Crickets
I got the product out to her and eagerly awaited the coming piece. When December rolled around and there was nothing, I started to get suspicious.
Still, I decided to give it a few more days.
When the first week of December came to an end and still no gift guide, I decided to check things out.
First, I checked the tracking number for the package sent to her:
Alright – she couldn’t claim to have not received it.
Next step was to send her an email to check up on the situation…
“Just writing in to check on a publishing date for your gift guide as this coming weekend is the biggest one of December.”
…an email which went unanswered.
Then, two weeks into December, I checked out her Instagram feed and fell into immediate fury.
She was in Mexico with her boyfriend, sunning it up and partying and it was made clear that THIS was the reason she wasn’t publishing her gift guide.
NOTE: that is not the actual pic of her and her BF in Mexico – she has since deleted it, so I’m merely posting a very similar picture.
Turns out that in the span of a week, she went from partying with her man on the beaches of La Paz to breaking up with him and calling him out as a narcissist.
You can’t make this shit up.
The pot just yelled “black!” at the kettle.
So I’m going to wrap this up with a few narcissistic traits Schimiggy might want to observe in herself, as per this article:
Sense of entitlement – she had absolutely no qualms about taking free shit, despite knowing she wasn’t going to deliver.
Exploits others without guilt or shame – to this day, Schimiggy has yet to offer either an apology or an explanation.
And for bonus points:
Grandiose sense of self-importance – see video below for explanation:
Lives in a fantasy world that supports their delusions of grandeur – Two words: Instagram Feed.
Grandiose sense of self-importance – At this point, no further comment is needed.
Influencers asking for free stuff and then not delivering is an actual thing – this is not a rare, isolated incident.
In the end, this wasn’t the first time DappChap’s been burnt, but it certainly will be the last.
In closing, there really should be an open database of influencers who asking for free stuff and not delivering so that we have an effective tool with which the stem the tide.